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Year in Search | Interview with Richard Daniels

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With the year coming to a close, PPC hubbub asked the leading search industry experts 3 questions about what they thought about 2018 and what 2019 might bring for Search. 

Today, Richard Daniels answered our questions. Rich is Head of Paid Search at iProspect, the world’s leading digital performance marketing agency.

Q: What have you loved about Search this year?

“2018 has been a pretty exciting year for Paid Search advertisers with loads of new features, targeting options, betas etc. There have been many things that I have loved about Search this year but my top two would have to be:

Further development and reliance on audiences  – Audiences are an area that has seen significant investment and development from both Google and Bing. Audience has always been an important part of any Paid Search strategy but with targeting options evolving all the time (in-market, affinity, household income etc) audiences are becoming increasingly more important and an incredibly effective mechanism for maximising results.

The fact that searches are becoming more conversational and less monosyllabic as users are starting to change their Search behaviour and are asking more questions than ever before. This is largely due to voice assistants but this has certainly kept Paid Search marketers on their toes in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019″

Q: What have you hated about Search this year?

“One word… GDPR. More specifically, the confusion that GDPR has created for brands and Search advertisers and the impact this has had on Paid Search and the wider industry. Whilst I’m sure we all agree the GDPR is necessary, it has had some pretty big impacts on the way brands utilise their CRM data in Paid Search and other channels.

Also worth raising the changes in Google shopping and the increase of CSS providers in the search landscape. The vast creation of cheap looking and poor functioning CSS pages flooding the SERPs feels like a bit of a step backwards for me. After an initial push to get advertisers on CSS providers, this dialogue has dropped off a cliff after recent developments.”

Q: What do you think 2019 will bring?

“2019 will be an interesting year for Paid Search advertisers with an ever increasing emphasis on audiences. Keywords will continue to be of importance but audiences will become more important and could, for some advertisers, become the primary focus. The rebrand from ‘Google AdWords’ to ‘Google Ads’ certainly tends to support this theory with a move away from ‘words’ as a reference point.

2019 will also see a rise in visual Search. 2018 has already seen the introduction of Google Story ads and with other more visual ad formats planned for next year it won’t be long until other Search engines follow suit. There have been  number of attempts in the past to introduce imagery into Search but none of these seem to have taken off – 2019 may well be the year of visual Search.

Of course it wouldn’t be a 2019 prediction without a reference of Voice Search – with more and more Searches coming through voice assistants, who will be the first to monetise it? The race is on.”

Richard Daniels
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